CCR – Tri Town News | Calvary Chapel volunteers reach out to people in need

BY CLARE MARIE CELANO Staff Writer – Tri Town News, November 29, 2012

Kim White packed up her pickup truck with blankets, warm clothes, canned food, diapers, baby products and personal toiletries and made several trips to the Jersey Shore to do the work she said she felt “compelled” to do.

White, who is a resident of Freehold Township, worked with representatives of the Cornerstone Calvary Chapel, Route 9, Howell, to serve with the Calvary Chapel Relief, a combined effort of Calvary Chapel churches around the country.

White visited Belmar, Brick Township and Ocean Grove to help residents of those communities deal with the aftermath of Sandy, the Oct. 29 post-tropical storm that left many people homeless and others with severely damaged homes

Volunteers under the leadership of Chris McCarrick, pastor, prepared and served hot meals. They also ripped out damaged floors, removed soaked insulation, sorted mounds of donations and comforted people whose lives were turned upside down by Sandy.

“We saw the resilience of people and how appreciative everyone was,” White said. “I could feel the Holy Spirit working. The Lord put it on my heart to give back. I prayed with these people and I believe we brought them more than just food.

“I believe we were feeding their spirits as well. In addition to food, we wanted to give them hope. We can hand out a meal, but they will be hungry again tomorrow, but if we give them community and something bigger to believe in, it changes their lives.”

McCarrick said Calvary Chapel in Old Bridge and Cornerstone Calvary Chapel in Howell “have joined together in this local effort to facilitate teams from all across the country and from our own local churches to go into the beach towns and help those in need. Pastor Lloyd Pulley and myself are overseeing this large group of volunteers.”

The pastor’s daughter, Kim McCarrick, is helping to coordinate the relief effort. She said the church is a “non-denomination group of churches whose focus is Bible believing and Bible teaching.”
Hundreds of volunteers from Calvary Chapel churches came to New Jersey from Maine, Virginia, California, Washington, Kansas and Florida to help the relief effort.

“We began outreaches in Belmar, Keansburg, Silverton [Toms River] and Brick Township, and our mission grew from these outreaches.” Kim McCarrick said, adding that between 40 and 100 church volunteers are continuing to visit shore towns daily.

She said those to whom assistance is being offered appreciate the efforts being made on their behalf.

“We are helping them to tenderly go through their memories and love them however we can. Our desire is to go to homes and show them Jesus the best we way we can. We have seen many people open up their hearts and laugh together. This is an opportunity to be like Jesus wants us to be. We know we are not equipped to give them everything they need, but we are there to give them hope,” McCarrick said.